Lab599 Discovery TX-500 - A different perspective

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by OH8STN, Sep 30, 2020.

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  1. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

  2. N6NLX

    N6NLX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the updated review. Good review demonstrating some of the features of this radio.
    In my opinion, as I stated before it’s a neat looking radio and wouldn’t mind having one but the lack of internal battery, ATU and cost kills it for me. I already have the KX2 and find that I don’t use it enough to justify buying it. This radio would be the same for me. Yes there is a battery back pack coming for it. I would guess it’s going to cost somewhere between 150-250 USD.

    Just my two cents worth.
    M1WML, K0UO and AJ6KZ like this.
  3. K7ZOV

    K7ZOV Ham Member QRZ Page

    No ATU for this radio and the IC-705 will be a major deal killer for most radio sales dealing with these two radios. That is followed by pricing. The KX2 and KX3 are bad enough price wise. I have had both. Plus the PX3. As far as external battery goes, it is almost a given that one will be handy with any QRP field radio, so this to me is a none issue. I traded my KX3 for a IC-7300 about 5 yrs ago (or there abouts) with no regrets. I had to sell my KX2 this year for hobby money and get a few more needed items. That said I fell in lust over the IC-705 until I found out the price and no ATU. I looked at TX-500 and liked lots of the feature, but again no ATU. Hey I have been QRPing for over 40 yrs, I know what I need in the field and bringing a battery is a given, but taking a external ATU like I did for many years with a FT-817 was a pain the the B*TT. The Kx3 and KX2 with good internal ATU's was the way to go, but now I had some needed funds and I still wanted a portable radio... I got one...It is outstanding and with each new firmware update getting better and better. What radio... Xiegu G90. 1-20 watts, 20 watts being a low 5 amps. A ATU that blows me away with how good it is. A spectrum scope/waterfall. detachable front display and a tons more features.. New it costs $450 and performance wise it will keep up with most radios 3 times the amount. The TX-500 like the IC-705 are outstanding radio but costs too much for this ham and to based on 40 yrs in the field doing real world QRP and not having a internal ATU killed any chance if me owning either. In both cases add over $100 more for a ATU and a bit lower for a manual tuner. Don't forget the added cables and their cost and oh yes they need batteries too (unless you get a manual tuner). Nope not worth it..
    M1WML, OH8STN, VK3SQ and 5 others like this.
  4. KC8UD

    KC8UD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't believe an automatic antenna tuner is important at all. In fact, I'm fine with this or any radio not having one. I use mostly resonant antennas in the first place and usually don't need a tuner. In some cases while operating QRP from the trail I'll just use a 53 foot piece of wire (random wire) antenna and use a tiny little shirt pocket L tuner. It handles five watts easily and probably more. It was cheap and easy to build, fits into an Altoids tin and thus fits in my shirt pocket. I don't need it to be AUTOMATIC because I can easily tune the little variable capacitor until the high SWR LED goes out and then I'm all set. AUTOMATIC antenna tuners have become a crutch to too many people and just make radios that much more expensive, needlessly.
    OLDARCHER, KI4WCA, DJ0IP and 15 others like this.
  5. WN1MB

    WN1MB Ham Member QRZ Page


    Not only are many modern day hams fearful of tuning an exciter - let alone an amplifier - they're fearful of adjusting an antenna tuner, too. And lets not go into that scary, dangerous 120 VAC!

    The crutches are everywhere with plenty of otherwise capable souls more than happy to start hobbling around on them.

    Everyone! Repeat after me: Yay. Yay. Plug and play.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
    OLDARCHER, NM2Y, M1WML and 5 others like this.
  6. KL7KN

    KL7KN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for taking the time to make and post the video.

    The rig is very ‘Russian’. That is, built like a brick outhouse with all that is needEd, but nothing more.
  7. NF6E

    NF6E Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Agree. Twisting knobs, pushing buttons, and keeping an eye on the meter needle is all part of the fun; be it QRP or QRO (at least for me).
    OLDARCHER, M1WML, K3DGR and 2 others like this.
  8. N1IPU

    N1IPU Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If your a ham and you don't understand "resonance" your not really a ham. I guess having a poor signal is ok as long as it easy.

    Still think this radio is silly. Not as silly as the 705 but still just a another bragging hole to throw money into.
    M1WML, DM2TT, AK5B and 1 other person like this.
  9. NO0DS

    NO0DS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is why Ham Radio is losing interest with young people. We can make it harder or easier for people to get into the hobby or not. More people equals cheaper prices for equipment and more innovations. "The number of U.S. amateur licenses has held at an anemic 1 percent annual growth for the past few years, with about 7,000 new licensees added every year for a total of 755,430 in 2018."
    M1WML and K5HFG like this.
  10. G4PWO

    G4PWO Ham Member QRZ Page

    i've actually designed my own transmitters from scratch so trust me - i am not "fearful" of adjusting a tuner!

    nevertheless, the convenience of having the automatic tuner built in to my KX2 meaning no extra box to carry, coupled with the fact i can tune the aerial on all bands in a couple of seconds and thereafter have instant band switching across all bands makes it a bit of a no-brainer for me. i can be up and running with a multi band set-up in 2 or 3 minutes.

    by all means burden yourself with extra boxes, the need to re-tune the antenna for each bandswich or single band operation with a resonant antenna if you'd rather though!
    M1WML, AJ6KZ, G0NMD and 3 others like this.

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